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IBM Entices SMB To Blades With Special Leasing, Entry-Level Switch

Quoting from CRN:

IBM Wednesday said it is rolling out financial incentives and a pair of new products intended to make it easier for solution providers to move small- and mid-sized business to a blade infrastructure.

Armonk, N.Y., IBM improved its leasing terms for SMB, released a low-cost 1Gbit Ethernet switch, and added a $500 rebate for solution providers that use an IBM Global Services installation service, said Matt Wineberg, worldwide product manager for IBM BladeCenter. Later this month, IBM also plans to release an iSCSI connector that can be used to integrate iSeries systems with BadeCenters, he said.

In the SMB market, Blades are seeing a bump in sales as businesses look to take on more compute power without increasing space in the data center and/or get more serious about server consolidation. Wineberg, who noted that IBM sells between one-fourth to one-third of its blades to customers with less than 1,000 employees, said SMB is "more and more critical each day, month and year."

...

On the product side, Wineberg said IBM's will release Wednesday a 1Gbit Ethernet switch priced at $999. That switch is about one-fifth the cost of a typical Ethernet switch that IBM currently offers for its blades. Wineberg said it lacks some of the "bells and whistles" in the more expensive model, such as layer 3 support, Spanning Tree Protocol and V-LAN limitations.

Nathan Coutinho, product manager, SystemX and virtualization at Berbee Information Networks, Madison, Wisconsin, said the scaled down features ease configuration and maintenance complexity for customers, large and small. "It just works without a lot of configuration," he said. "That makes it really simple to use."

IBM plans to release the iSCSI connector for iSeries systems on May 19 at about $999. Wineberg said the device will make it possible for customers to integrate iSeries networking and server management with a BladeCenter.

IBM is offering solution providers that don't want to participate in complex installs a $500 rebate beyond typical discounts to resell a three-day IBM Global Services (IGS) package to migrate a company to a blade infrastructure. IGS has been offering that service to SMB since last year, but the rebate to solution providers just became available this month, said Wineberg. IGS prices its migration solution at $6,995.

Read the entire article, here.

Published Wednesday, May 10, 2006 6:05 AM by David Marshall
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